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Category: Trinity River

Soldier Fishing from a Viaduct — 1948

soldier-fishing-viaduct_feb-28-1948_DPLHope this isn’t dinner…

by Paula Bosse

A soldier in uniform, sitting on the concrete railing of a viaduct, casting into the Trinity. 

When I posted this in a Dallas history group several years ago and asked which viaduct is shown, there was no consensus — Houston Street was mentioned most often, but just about all of them got several votes!


Sources & Notes

I can’t remember where I came across this photo (which is dated Feb. 28, 1948), but it is from the collection of the Dallas Public Library.



Copyright © 2021 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

Paul Giraud’s 1892 View of Dallas with Trinity River “Improvements” Which Were Never Made

1892_map_birdseye_paul-giraud_wikimediaClick to explore a larger image…

by Paula Bosse

Above is a map titled “Dallas, Texas, With The Projected River And Navigation Improvements. Viewed From Above The Sister City of Oak Cliff.” It was a bird’s-eye view of the city drawn in 1892 by Dallas resident and businessman Paul Giraud.

If you click on the picture you will see a very large image which will allow you to look at all the tiny details. You’ll see a lot of stuff that never actually existed in Dallas, but which Giraud — an adamant and tireless proponent of a navigable Trinity waterway — hoped would become part of Dallas. It’s pretty cool and a lot of fun to wander through. (A good background history on Giraud’s “map” can be found on the Amon Carter Museum website here.)

Born in France in 1844, Paul Giraud settled in Dallas in 1890 where he worked both in real estate and as a draftsman while also acting as a booster of Dallas and Texas to anyone who would listen, especially to Europeans and fellow Frenchmen who were considering the possibility of emigrating to the United States. He was also an inventor and secured at least one patent.

Giraud’s enthusiasm and dedication for the Trinity River scheme could be found in the bird’s-eye view seen above, in a miniature three-dimensional model with working locks and dams which he constructed for the 1892 State Fair, and in newspaper articles printed across the state which he wrote to assure readers (and investors) of the feasibility of the project.

All that work, but, sadly, Giraud’s dream was never realized — the Trinity won. But he did leave us with that fantastic, partially realistic bird’s-eye view of the city.


1892_map_birdseye_giraud_dmn_091892Dallas Morning News, Sept. 18, 1892

DMN, Oct. 29, 1892

Souvenir Guide of Dallas, 1894


Photo and obituary, DMN, Dec. 11, 1917 (click to read)


Sources & Notes

This map is in the collection of the Library of Congress, here; the picture at the top of this post links to the enlarged Wikimedia image here.

If you’d like to compare some of the buildings with Sanborn maps to see what was real and what was fanciful, you can find the 1892 Sanborn maps here (scroll down). It might be helpful to use Sheet 1 as a guide — if, for instance, you want to look at the area in the immediate vicinity of the courthouse (which was under construction at the time…), you see that you need Sheet 3, so you click on “Dallas 1892 Sheet 3” on the list of maps.



Copyright © 2020 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

Flashback Dallas in D Magazine: “The Trinity Bridge-Jumpers”


by Paula Bosse

I was flattered to be asked to contribute something to the “Lost Dallas” issue of D Magazine (great stories and photos, by the way — it’s on newsstands now!). When asked for a topic that might be interesting or offbeat, I remembered a story I had come across a few years ago which I had always meant to write about: an 1897 event in which a professional diver and an amateur “jumper” crossed paths at the old Commerce Street Bridge in front of a crowd of several thousand. The thought of diving/jumping from a Dallas bridge into the Trinity River — unless it’s at flood-stage — is, frankly, something I would never have considered, but it happened. There is a short overview of the event in the print edition of the magazine, but my full version — “The 1897 Battle of the Trinity Bridge Jumpers” — is available to read online at D’s website, here.

I won’t repeat the story here, but for you faithful lovers of history who read the full story (and who sneer at the very concept of tl;dr), here are a few images and bits of background info to flesh out the story a bit.


It all began with a small announcement in The Dallas Morning News:

bridge-jumper_wilson_dmn_031797DMN, March 17, 1897

No photographs of the main characters are available, but drawings of the two men were featured in the pages of The News on March 22, 1897. First, J. B. Wilson, the “professional” bridge-diver who traveled from town to town plying his trade. As the drawing below shows, Wilson personally walked through the large crowd in his special diving costume, carrying a cigar box, soliciting “donations” from the crowd (one man attempted to slip in a live water snake he had in his pocket — Wilson was not amused).


Secondly, the unexpected hero of the day, young Arch Sexton: candy-maker, thrill-seeker. Sexton had this to say of the drawing: “That was an excellent picture of me in The News this morning. The artist knows a good-looking man when he sees him” (DMN, March 23, 1897).



The centerpiece of this story is the old Commerce Street Bridge, built around 1890 (it weathered the great flood of 1908 and was eventually replaced by a new bridge in 1915). This was before the Trinity River had been straightened and moved. This is what the bridge looked like on a typical day:

commerce-street-bridge_legacies_fall-1995photo via Legacies

And, below, the course of the river in 1897. The jump would have happened only a couple of blocks from the Old Red Courthouse, very close to what is now the edge of Dealey Plaza.

1898 map detail, via Portal to Texas History


Lastly, because I started the D magazine article with a look at the idol of bridge-jumpers everywhere (and because of this guy bridge-jumping became a whole thing), I should mention Steve Brodie, the man who attained worldwide fame and became massively wealthy as a result of claiming to have jumped from the Brooklyn Bridge in 1886 (the first person to have done so and survived). His claim of having jumped from the Brooklyn Bridge was disputed from the very beginning, but charges of fakery did not affect his celebrity — in fact, it might even have sharpened his mastery of constant self-promotion (which, in turn, inspired thousands of copycat bridge-jumpers across the country who hoped to cash in on some of that sweet Brodie moolah). When he wasn’t entertaining legions of fans at his well-known Bowery saloon, he kept his name in the headlines by devising other (also disputed) feats of daredevilry, promoting prize fights, and even appearing onstage in a version of his life’s story (complete with a nightly reenactment of the famed bridge jump). Watch a short but informative video about him here.



He was so famous that his name became a slang term: “took a Brodie” or “pulled a Brodie” meant “made a dangerous leap” or, more broadly, “took a chance.” Here’s a slang-filled cartoon from 1936 which featured the term fifty years after Brodie’s jump.



That’s the background. If you haven’t already, please mosey on over to D Magazine to read the full-length article I wrote about the Dallas bridge-jumpers of 1897! (And try to work “Steve Brodie” into a conversation today….)


Sources & Notes

The main reason this story stuck with me was that the original Dallas Morning News report was so amusingly written. I have no idea who wrote it — he identified himself only as “the News’ marine reporter” — but I hope his literary talents led him to bigger and better gigs than an un-bylined newspaper writer scouring the Dallas docks for morsels of news. His sarcastically bemused reports on this long-forgotten exhibition of bridge-jumping (and the follow-ups) can be found in the following entertaining articles:

  • “A Tale of the Trinity: ‘High Diver’ Wilson and ‘High Jumper’ Sexton Split the River Wide Open; Steve Brodie Outdone” (DMN, March 22, 1897), here
  • “A Day With the Divers: The Marine Reporter of The News Passes a Few Hours In Haunts of Jolly Jack Tar” (DMN, March 23, 1897), here
  • “A Day With High Divers: A. B. Sexton and Nick M. Miller Created a Commotion In Marine Circles” (DMN, April 19, 1897), here

Thanks for the opportunity to share this odd tale, D Magazine! See all of the “Lost Dallas” articles (and photos) here.

All images are larger when clicked.


Copyright © 2018 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.


The Prelude to the Great Flood of 1908

commerce-st-bridge_1908_cook-degolyerApril 20, 1908… (click for larger image) / SMU

by Paula Bosse

The greatest flood Dallas has ever known — the disastrous flood of 1908 (read about it here) — happened in the spring of 1908. The Trinity River reached its highest crest of more than 52 feet on May 26. The photo above was taken on April 20 — five weeks before that.

On April 20, 1908 — the day this photo was taken — The Dallas Morning News reported that after three weeks of rain the Trinity had finally crested at “nearly 39 feet.” This flooding was the worst in 20 years and the third worst on record.

In a mere five weeks, though, every record regarding the Trinity River and flooding in Dallas would be broken. Those people who had ventured out to survey the river from the Commerce Street Bridge that April day had no idea what was in store for them in just 35 days.

Let’s zoom in on this photo and look at some of the details of the crowd and the bridge (all images are larger when clicked).




Above: are refreshments being sold?








The editorial cartoon below appeared on the front page of The Fort Worth Telegram next to a story with the headline “Dallasites Flee Flooded Homes; River is Rising.”

FWT, April 20, 1908

In May, this photo (by Henry Clogenson) showing “Highest Water in the History of Dallas” appeared in The Dallas Morning News:

DMN, May 26, 1908

Another photo by Clogenson:


For comparison, here’s the bridge at a calmer time:


Flood memorabilia? Check out the book and stationery department at Sanger Bros.

flood_postcard-sales_dmn_060408_sangers-ad-detJune, 1908


Sources & Notes

Top photo titled “Commerce St. Bridge, Trinity River, Dallas, Tex., April 20, 1908” from the George W. Cook Dallas/Texas Image Collection, DeGolyer Library, Central University Libraries, Southern Methodist University; the photo and more information can be accessed here.

The wide-angle photo of the Commerce Street Bridge, taken by Henry Clogenson, is from the Library of Congress, here.

“Calmer” photo of the Commerce Street Bridge is from the Fall, 1995 issue of Legacies, from the article “Bridges Over the Trinity” by Mary Ellen Holt.

Read the Dallas Morning News article “Trinity Flood Crest Has Reached Dallas … Great Damage is Reported” (DMN, April 20, 1908) here.


Copyright © 2018 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

Forest Avenue-Area Flooding, South Dallas — 1935

flooding_forest-avenue_lloyd-long_052035_ebayBeyond the levees… (click for larger image)

by Paula Bosse

Sometimes the Trinity River is a puny little trickle, sometimes it’s a raging torrent. Here are aerial photos taken from around Forest Avenue (now MLK Blvd.) by Lloyd M. Long, showing the major flooding of May, 1935.

Here is the lead sentence from The Dallas Morning News, May 21, 1935 (the day after these photos were taken):

With sections of South Dallas inundated for the first time since the record 1908 flood, numerous bridges and highways and thousands of acres of lowlands hidden by its swirling, muddy currents, the roaring Trinity slowly was receding Monday night at Dallas after reaching a crest of 42.10 feet at 11 a.m. (DMN, May 21, 1935)


There was great rejoicing that that the new-ish levees had held the waters and prevented the wide-scale flooding seen in 1922. But once you got to the Forest Avenue bridge (which ran below the Corinth St. viaduct and the Santa Fe railroad trestle), things got real bad real fast. In the photo above, the levee protection ends exactly at the railroad trestle — the Forest Avenue bridge is mostly underwater. The river above the trestle: a beautiful feat of engineering; below: water, water everywhere.

Below the Forest Ave. bridge where the levee protection ended, flood conditions were far worse than those created by the 1922 inundation. (DMN, May 21, 1935)

Again, sometimes the Trinity is just a trickle….


Sources & Notes

Both photos (by Lloyd M. Long) are from 2017 eBay auctions: the top photo here, and the bottom photo here.

More on Dallas flooding can be found in these Flashback Dallas posts:

  • “The Nellie Maurine: When a Pleasure Boat Became a Rescue Craft During the Great Trinity River Flood of 1908,” here
  • “One of the Victims of the Great Trinity Flood: The T & P Railroad Trestle — 1908,” here
  • “The Trinity River at the City’s Doorstep,” here
  • “Cole Park Storm Water Detention Vault,” here

Maybe it’s just me, but I was really taken with that little L-shaped building in the top photo which was, briefly, its own island. What was it? It was part of the Guiberson Oil Well Specialty Corporation, founded in 1919 at 1000 Forest Avenue — the building seen in the photo was built in 1926. It’s still standing (here) and appears to be part of Faubion & Associates, a manufacturer of retail display cases and store fixtures.

Click photos to see larger images.


Copyright © 2018 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

Collision on the Streetcar Viaduct — 1929

interurban_trestle_1946_denver-pub-lib_lgThe new streetcar viaduct, 1946 (click for much larger image)

by Paula Bosse

For many, many years there was a special trestle that spanned the Trinity River which was for the exclusive use of streetcars and Interurbans. There were also trestles and viaducts for the exclusive use of trains and automobiles. Below is a photo showing the  viaductal activity in 1935, with the streetcar trestle — sometimes called the “Street Car Viaduct” or the “Trinity River Viaduct” marked in yellow and the Old Red Courthouse and Dealey Plaza (then under construction) marked in orange.


The viaduct immediately above it was the Houston Street viaduct, for automobiles.

For many, a streetcar ride across the viaduct seems to have been a little on the harrowing side. There were no guardrails to prevent a car from going over the side, and even when the original wooden trestle had been bolstered with stronger materials, it was still described by commuters as being rickety. I like this quote of a man remembering a typical ride in the 1950s:

“I always enjoyed the slight tingle of fear I experienced on the trestle over the river, as one could not see the trestle itself from the car window. One had the feeling of being suspended with no support when looking out the window.”

And these two memories:

“The streetcar trestle ran parallel to the Houston St. Viaduct where the current newer bridge is to downtown. No railings and just depended on gravity to hold the cars on the rails. The cars would buck and sway as they crossed the river bottoms as the motormen made up time on their schedules. Seemed like they were really going fast to me at the time, but probably not in today’s terms.”

“The [newer streetcars] used to scare me to death rocketing across the Trinity River high in the air with no sidewalls except just over the river itself! You were able to look straight down from high above ground… those newer cars had softer springs and the faster they went, the more they rocked side to side over the less than flat tracks!”

Here’s a photo when it was in its original rickety state, back in 1895 (this is a detail of a larger photo, taken on the Oak Cliff side of the river, with the trestle — and the not-yet-old Old Red Courthouse — visible in the background).


Here it is in 1914 at river-bottom level, with a happy little trolley chugging along with the Oak Cliff/Houston Street viaduct looming over and in front of it. (This is a detail of a larger photo in the George W. Cook Collection, DeGolyer Library, SMU — here).


And here’s a sturdier version of the viaduct, in 1946.


But now to the collision on the viaduct, which happened on the morning of November 23, 1929. Back then — at that iteration of the viaduct — the trestle had only a single track. While one streetcar or Interurban car crossed the bridge toward Oak Cliff, a car wanting to cross over from Oak Cliff had to wait until the westbound car had made its mile-long trip. That must have made for a lot of impatient riders. Even though the so-called “block signal” system worked well for the most part, there were the occasional accidents, including the one involving three cars on Nov. 23, 1929. Below, a front-page report of the collision(s) from The Waxahachie Daily Light (click for larger image).

streetcar-trestle-collision_waxahachie-daily-light_112329Waxahachie Daily Light, Nov. 23, 1929

The Waxahachie paper even had a local angle (although it’s unclear just how this man “nearly lost all of the clothes he was wearing”).

streetcar-trestle-collision_waxahachie-daily-light_112329-sidebarWaxahachie Daily Light, Nov. 23, 1929

Since it happened during the morning rush hour, just about every other newspaper in Texas scooped The Dallas Morning News, which wasn’t able to run its story until the next day (and its report was surprisingly dull).

The UP wire story that ran in the Joplin, Missouri paper was far more exciting.

streetcar-trestle-collision_joplin-MO-globe_112429Joplin Globe, Nov. 24, 1929

Thankfully none of the streetcars fell off the trestle, but I’m sure that possibility was probably the daily fear/resigned expectation of generations of nervous travelers.


The most interesting thing in the DMN article is the last paragraph:

Plans in the making for the new street car crossing of the Trinity River call for a double track over the channel, eliminating the necessity of waiting on block signals.

In February, 1931, that new double-track streetcar viaduct opened for business, and I’m sure there was a city-wide sigh of relief.


One last little amusing tidbit about this viaduct: it was not unheard of for those having indulged in excessive amounts of alcohol to try to drive their automobiles (either on purpose or by accident) over this already-kind-of-scary trestle intended for electric-powered railway use only.

streetcar-trestle-mexia-weekly-herald_011333_drunk-motoristMexia Weekly Herald, Jan. 13, 1933

Beaver Valley (Pennsylvania) Times, Dec. 8, 1952


Sources & Notes

Top photo titled “T. E. clouds, sky, city, from east levee close to wooden trestle 320 just passed, at rear, car 320 on Trinity River Bridge, Dallas, Tex.,” taken on Feb. 16, 1946 by Robert W. Richardson, is from the Western History/Genealogy Dept., Denver Public Library; is can be viewed here.

Photo showing the viaducts across the Trinity is titled “Central Levee District,” taken on May 20, 1935 by Lloyd M. Long, from the Edwin J. Foscue Map Library, Southern Methodist University; the labeled photo is here, the unlabeled photo is here.

Don’t know what “block signaling” is? Wikipedia to the recue.

 Lastly, just because I like it, a magnified detail from the top 1946 photo, showing a streetcar at the downtown end of the viaduct.


All pictures larger when clicked!


Copyright © 2016 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.


The First Woman to Swim the Channel Helped Search the Trinity for Drowned Victims — 1927

swim-girl-swim_haGertrude Ederle (l) with co-star, Dallas native Bebe Daniels / via HA.com

by Paula Bosse

In 1926, Gertrude Ederle, a 19-year-old American, became the first woman to swim the English Channel — her time of 14 hours and 39 minutes was the fastest time ever. She became an instant international celebrity. When she returned to New York, she was given the very first ticker-tape parade, and over two million people turned out to see her.

After this momentous achievement, Ederle turned for a while to entertainment. She made a cameo appearance in a (now lost) silent film called Swim, Girl, Swim (which, incidentally, starred two Dallas natives, Bebe Daniels and James Hall), and she also toured for a while with a vaudeville company.

It was during one of these tours in April, 1927 that she arrived in Dallas, just as torrential rains began to fall. There was severe flooding along the West Fork of the Trinity, especially in the area of Record Crossing. The boat in which two young men were riding had capsized and they had been caught in the undertow and drowned. There had  been an unsuccessful search for their bodies, and I’m not sure who came up with the idea of contacting Miss Ederle, but someone did. Why NOT call in the world’s most famous swimmer to see if she could lend a hand while authorities dragged the river? Miss Ederle did, in fact, join in the underwater search, but the bodies were not found. I bet she never forgot that Dallas stop!

The news was reported in Time magazine:

trinity_bodies_time-mag_041827Time, April 18, 1927

While in town, Trudy also squeezed in a personal appearance at Sanger Bros., hawking what looks to be her own line of swimsuits.


ederle_sangers_dmn_041427Apr. 14, 1927


Sources & Notes

More on the Trinity River search can be found in The Dallas Morning News article “River Claims Two Victims; Gertrude Ederle Makes Vain Attempt to Recover Bodies” (DMN, April 5, 1927).

Newsreel footage of Gertrude Ederle can be seen here.

Photos of Ederle in action are here.

Ederle’s Wikipedia entry is here.


Copyright © 2016 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.


Snag Boat Dallas — 1893

snagboat_dplSnag Boat Dallas of Dallas, Trinity River (click for larger image)

by Paula Bosse

“Snagboat.” It’s a great word. And if you’ve taken even a glancing look into the history of the Trinity River, you’ve probably come across it. What is it? According to the Wikipedia entry, it is “a river boat, resembling a barge with superstructure for crew accommodations, and deck-mounted cranes and hoists for removing snags and other obstructions from rivers and other shallow waterways.” If you’re from Dallas, “shallow waterway” will immediately bring to mind our very own Trinity River, which, unless it’s flooding, you probably rarely even think of as being an actual river. But Dallas money-men have tried their damnedest for what seems like EVER to make the Trinity do what they wanted it to do.

In the late 19th century, a group of Dallas businessmen organized the Trinity River Navigation and Improvement Company and began to sink large sums of money into it. The goal was to make the Trinity navigable for large boats between the Gulf of Mexico and Dallas. They knew that if they could open this waterway to vessels carrying all manner of freight that they could make a lot of money. A lot.

In order to make the Trinity navigable, it first had to be cleared of all sorts of impassable debris in it, on it, over it, and along it. The stretch of the river around the soon-to-be inland port of Dallas was particularly snarled with all sorts of things making passage of large boats through its waters impossible. A snagboat was needed, and construction on the Snag Boat Dallas of Dallas began in November of 1892.

snagboat_dmn_112692Dallas Morning News, Nov. 26, 1892

The construction of the boat was followed closely in the Texas papers, and giddy ads/editorials like this one were filling the pages of Dallas newspapers.

ad-water-rates_dmn_011593DMN, Jan. 15, 1893

“Water rates” — charges for freight shipped via boat — were lower than the rates charged by railroads. Were the Trinity able to support freight traffic, this new competition would mean that railroads would lower their rates, and the savings for manufacturers and builders would  be substantial. As a result, manufacturing and building in the city would boom, and before you knew it, Dallas would become “the greatest city on Earth in the South”!

A few days before the official launch of the boat, reporters, businessmen, and the public were invited to a preview. An interesting account in The Galveston Daily News described the boat’s machinery (which included a “liquid battering ram”) and took the reader on a tour of the crew’s quarters (which had separate sleeping and dining areas for black and white crew members, per the “Separate Coach Law” of 1891).

snagboat_galveston-daily-news-021993Galveston Daily News, Feb. 19, 1893

The boat began its snagging work in February, 1893, and, in order to keep readers abreast of all Snag Boat Dallas developments, there were almost daily updates on its progress in the newspapers, and (in lieu of photographs) Dallas Morning News illustrators provided scenes of the boat’s important work.

snagboat_dmn_021293DMN, Feb. 12, 1893

snagboat_dmn_022693DMN, Feb. 26, 1893

The celebrity snagboat succeeded in clearing the debris, and in May, 1893, the steamer H. A. Harvey, Jr. arrived in Dallas, having, yes, navigated the Trinity River from the Gulf, even though it had faced two months’ worth of difficulties along the way (problematic water levels, low bridges which had to be dismantled in order for it to pass under, underwater impediments which had to be dynamited into oblivion, etc.). When it finally pulled into Dallas — accompanied by the hard-working snagboat that had paved its way — the city shut down and had a massive celebration. The Dallas Morning News went so far as to print several of its pages in red ink (!). This proof that the Trinity River was, in fact, navigable, meant that the city was on the cusp on becoming “the greatest city in the South.” The DMN (which was not shy in its almost rabid boosterism of this project) published an editorial for those Dallasites who might “not fully comprehend” the significance of why they were celebrating.

harvey-impact_dmn_052293DMN, May 22, 1893

Dallas would become an important inland port. “It can be done.”

Except that we know that it couldn’t be done. Too many other natural forces were working against the Trinity River entrepreneurs. The Harvey and the snagboat didn’t actually do much after that tumultuous reception in 1893. Sure, they moved some small loads back and forth along the Dallas stretch of the river, but that grand vision of taming the Trinity never came to pass. Even now, more than 120 years later, it still has yet to happen. Dallas has done pretty well without the Trinity River being truly navigable, but people can’t seem to stop trying to somehow monetize it. It’s probably time we just appreciated our little section of the Trinity River for what it is: a little trickle of a river that has (so far) survived everything we’ve tried to do to it in the name of “progress.”


For closure, snagboat fans: the hard-working little Dallas had an ignominious end. It was tied to an old pier and left to rot on the water before it was eventually cannibalized and slowly picked apart. Its end came in January of 1898 when it was finally “broken up.”

rip_dmn_052897DMN, May 28, 1897

RIP, Snag Boat Dallas of Dallas — we hardly knew ye.


The Harvey (which quietly left town when it was sold to a Louisiana company in 1898) has gotten the lion’s share of the historical attention, but the snagboat is the one that did all the work. Here are two more photos of the Dallas and its crew taking a break from snagging to pose for posterity.


The photo below shows just what the crew of the snagboat was up against. The caption was written by C. A. Keating, president of the Trinity River Navigation Company.



And, finally, what prompted me to find out more about the snagboat in the first place: this ad for the Dallas Lithograph Company from the 1893 city directory. It featured an illustration of a little boat chugging along on the idyllic (and blissfully snag-free) Trinity River, with the Old Red Courthouse in the background and a little tent pitched on the bank. I wasn’t all that familiar with snagboats, but that’s what I thought it looked like. I’m sure it’s supposed to be something grander, but I’ll think of it as a snagboat anyway.


ad-dallas-lithograph-co_1893-dir1893 Dallas directory


Sources & Notes

I came across the top photo (which is from the archives of the Dallas Public Library) on the web page for the 99% Invisible podcast, here. I was so enthralled with the pictures on this page that I didn’t even realize until just now that there was a podcast to listen to, called “The Port of Dallas” — about this very topic! Listen to it at the top of the page — it’s very entertaining. I think Julia Barton and I were separated at birth!

There are lots of other photos on that page, including a photo of the H. A. Harvey, Jr. and a photo showing what the Dallas Morning News looked like printed in red.

Second photo of the Snag Boat Dallas is from the DFW Urban Wildlife blog, here. More great photos there!

The final photo of the Dallas and the photo’s caption are from C. A. Keating’s autobiography, Keating and Forbes Families and Reminiscences of C. A. Keating (Dallas: self-published, 1920).

All other clippings, as noted.

To read about how people have tried and tried and tried over the years to make the Trinity River do what they wanted it to do — and failed — read the article “Navigating the Trinity, A Dream That Endured for 130 Years” by Jackie McElhaney (Legacies, Spring 1991), here.

UPDATE: I swear I was completely unaware of Julia Barton’s podcast about the “Port of Dallas” when I wrote this post, but I’m happy to report there is ALSO a video, from a presentation she did at the TEDxSMU talks in October. Watch it here. (Thanks, for alerting me to that this, Julia — my “internet twin”!)

Most clippings and photos are larger when clicked. The last photo of Snag Boat Dallas is very big.


Copyright © 2015 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.


Dallas Imagined As an Inland Port


by Paula Bosse

Okay, this will be my last Trinity River post for a while. This is what some clever person imagined Dallas would look like today as an inland port had anyone ever managed to make the Trinity a navigable commercial waterway between DFW and the Gulf. So there you go!


This image was linked to a Reddit post linking to a Flashback Dallas Trinity River post. I have no idea who created this, but the image link is here. If anyone knows the source, I’d love to credit the person responsible.


Copyright © 2015 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.


“How High’s the Water, Mama?” — 1908


by Paula Bosse

A great panoramic photo by Clogenson, showing the old Commerce Street bridge partially submerged by the Trinity River (which is pretty dang high … and rising).


Photograph by Henry Clogenson, from the collection of the Library of Congress; accessible here.

Previous Flashback Dallas posts on the Great Flood of 1908 can be found here and here. And a fantastic photo of what the Trinity looked like before it was straightened and moved is here.

And, really, you MUST hear Johnny Cash sing the pertinent “Five Feet High & Rising,” here.

Click picture for a REALLY big image.


Copyright © 2015 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.


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